Online resources to help your business

SUN Columnist

I have been with the Chamber for just over three weeks now. During this short time, I have been learning more about small business development, especially in rural areas. I came across a white paper from Growing Local Economies entitled “Free and Low-Cost Information Resources for Supporting Local Entrepreneurs,” by Christine Hamilton-Pennell. The paper lists dozens of online resources meant to support entrepreneurs — below are three of those resources. Take a few minutes to review these resources. If you are looking for other information, please call me. I may not be able to help immediately, but can help lead you in the right direction.

Business Week Online — Small Biz,, offers news, articles and advice from entrepreneurs on topics such as finance, innovation, management and technology. The section on small business offers articles on sales and marketing, policy and financing and includes a small business blog.

SCORE —, offers a host of resources for people starting, growing, financing or managing their business. One of the most valuable services offered is, “Ask SCORE,” a database of retired business people who will provide free business advice. You can specify an area of expertise — for example, manufacturing, advanced technology, disaster recovery or financial services and also qualify your search by state. SCORE offers a number of free online workshops, as well as e-newsletters, on topics such as women in business and social media/networking.

My Own Business —, is a nonprofit organization committed to helping people start and succeed in business. The free courses are presented by successful business owners who point out common, avoidable mistakes. The website offers a variety of other resources for businesses including business plans and courses on business expansion.

Closer to home, Region 9 Economic Development District of Southwest Colorado, Inc.,, is a nonprofit, 501 (c)6 public/private partnership that promotes and coordinates economic development efforts throughout Southwest Colorado. The Region 9 mission is to be a regional leader, working cooperatively with the private and public sectors to enhance the economic conditions in the area and improve the region’s economic prosperity.

Business news and
upcoming events

The Ross Aragon Community Center will host the High Rollers, an entertaining band from Durango, for their third CD release party on April 25 at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door.

Learn how the Chamber can help you succeed in your business and find out what the Chamber can do for your business with our Maximizing Your Membership class. We have a variety of no-cost or low-cost membership benefits that can help you with marketing your business including our advantage membership packages. The next class will be held on Monday, May 19, from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. The Maximizing your Membership class is free and lunch is provided. Please call the Chamber to reserve your spot and so that we can assure that here is enough food for the attendees.

We would like to thank our renewing members Basin Printing and Imaging, Colorado Dream Homes, Inc., Hair Loft Downtown, The Historic Strater Hotel, Mountain Landing Suites and RV Park, Old Town Market, Pagosa Peak Dental Hygiene and Tequila’s Mexican Restaurant. Thank you also to individual renewing members John and Carrie Weiss.

We know you are looking for information regarding the question of the new location of both the Visitor Center and the Chamber offices. Please know that the town and the Chamber have committed to renegotiations with the hope that the right decision will be made, benefiting everyone. Though I cannot report much more at this time, I hope we will have answers soon.

This spring, remember to get out and enjoy beautiful Pagosa Springs and all it has to offer.

This story was posted on April 24, 2014.